August 27, 2015 – News Releases
|27 August 2015|
|President Aquino declares 19 nationwide holidays for next year|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III has issued a proclamation declaring the regular holidays and special non-working days to be observed for the year 2016.
Proclamation No. 1105, which was signed by President Aquino on August 20, listed 19 nationwide holidays for next year.
Special (non-working) days
Additional special non-working days
The proclamations declaring national holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eidul Adha shall be issued after the approximate dates of the Islamic holidays have been determined in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos shall inform the Office of the President of the actual dates on which these holidays shall respectively fall.
The Department of Labor and Employment shall promulgate the implementing guidelines for this proclamation, which shall take effect immediately. PND (co)
|Increased government spending contributes to higher Gross Domestic Product growth in second quarter: Palace|
| A Palace official on Thursday attributed the higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) posted in the second quarter of 2015 to increased government spending.
“Earlier this morning, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the Philippine economy grew by 5.6 percent in the second quarter of 2015. This is higher than the 5.0 percent expansion posted in the first quarter, and is consistent with increased government spending during the past three months,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
Secretary Lacierda said the NEDA report showed that growth on the demand side was led by household consumption—which accelerated to 6.2 percent—while on the supply side, the major sectors that contributed to growth include services (6.2 percentage points) and industry (6.1 percentage points).
“Relative to other Asian economies that have released their second quarter 2015 GDP growth data, the Philippines is the third fastest growing economy, ahead of Malaysia (4.9 percent), Indonesia (4.7 percent), and Thailand (2.8 percent),” he added.
“International circles have credited political stability as one of the main reasons for our country’s comparatively reliable performance. Along with prudent fiscal management and other factors, this stability has helped the Philippines weather external shocks, proving once again that good governance is good economics. Reform works: we have witnessed this time and again over the past five years, and we, as a people, will continue to reap its fruits so long as we keep to Daang Matuwid,” Lacierda further said.
The Palace official said the government remains committed to do its best for the benefit of the coming generation.
“It is clear that the Aquino administration pursues not just economic growth, but rather inclusive growth, with an emphasis on extending the benefits of national progress to our poorest and most marginalized sectors. Rest assured that we will continue to build on the gains we have collectively achieved, and strive for a Philippines that is more peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive, for the benefit of coming generations,” added Lacierda. PND (jm)
|Aquino government bent on finding solutions to traffic woes, flooding|
| The administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III is determined to solve the lingering problems on traffic and flooding in Metro Manila.
President Aquino told students of the Rizal Technological University (RTU) on Thursday that several proposals would be presented to him soon by concerned government agencies and stakeholders on how to address the traffic gridlock in the metropolis.
“Malapit nang ipresenta sa akin ang iba’t ibang plano para maibsan ang siksikan ng mga sasakyan,” he said in his speech during the inauguration of a new building at RTU in Mandaluyong City.
The Chief Executive shared that the “most radical” solution to the traffic problem is the implementation of the odd-even scheme.
“Ang akin po: Ang pinakaradikal dito ay hatiin ang bilang ng bumibiyaheng sasakyan—salitan ang pagbabaybay ng odd at even na plaka sa ating mga kalsada kada linggo,” he said.
He noted that the plan would definitely ease traffic congestion but it would draw criticisms from the public, considering that, according to the Department of Trade and Industry, 22,400 new vehicles are sold every month and 100,000 motorcycles were sold each month in 2014.
“Pihadong luluwang ang trapik dahil kalahati ng sasakyan ang mawawala, pero sigurado pong marami na namang aalma dahil hindi magagamit ang kotse nila,” he said.
During the event, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson presented the master plan, which includes the main drainage project in Mandaluyong City as part of the major flood control projects and drainage improvement works being done in the National Capital Region.
President Aquino, meanwhile, sought the public’s understanding and cooperation as the government finds long-term solutions to the two major problems that continue to beset the country.
“Nagsisikap nga tayong tugunan ang lahat ng kayang tugunan, at ang panawagan ko po: Makiisa at dagdagan ang pang-unawa at pasensiya. Sa inyo namang pakikiambag, masisiguro nating sabay-sabay tayong uunlad,” he said.
Meanwhile, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Thursday that at the instruction of President Aquino, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras has begun consulting various stakeholders to integrate action proposals from the Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation and Communications, and the Philippine National Police. PND (jb/as/jm)
|President Aquino inspects relocation site for informal settlers in Pasig City|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday inspected a relocation site for informal settlers in Pasig City.
There to welcome the President was Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chairman Chito Cruz.
Cruz facilitated President Aquino’s inspection of Unit 103 of the Manggahan Residences Phase 1, located at the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Depot, Eastbank Road, Barangay Sta. Lucia, Pasig City.
According to the HUDCC chief, the two five-storey buildings constructed under the project’s first phase, form part of 15 buildings that will be completed in June 2016. Phase 2, consisting of six buildings, will be completed in March next year, to be followed by Phase 3, consisting of 7 buildings.
The project, which has a budget allocation of P50 billion, aims to resettle 900 families who have illegally settled at the Manggahan Floodway, and eventually help solve the flooding in Metro Manila.
Each unit is a studio, which could be converted into a one-room unit, complete with a toilet and a small balcony in the upper floors.
In his speech, President Aquino acknowledged the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo’s role in conceptualizing the People’s Plan, where the people help find solutions to their problems.
“Ang kanyang naging pilosopiya sa pamumuno: Ituring na katuwang ang mahihirap, imbes na ituring silang pabigat. Sa kanyang mga pagsisikap, naging popular ang konsepto ng People’s Plan, kung saan nakikiambag ang mismong mga benepisyaryo sa paglikha ng solusyon sa kanilang mga problema,” said the President.
He noted that the new settlement is part of the administration’s principle to Build Back Better.
“Hindi sapat sa atin na mailipat lang kayo ng tirahan. Hindi rin natin ugali ang magpatupad lang ng mga pansamantalang solusyon, na pagkatapos ng mga photo-op ay wala naman talagang nangyaring pagbabago,” he said.
“Sinisiguro din nating ligtas, matibay, at malapit sa mga serbisyo at oportunidad ang inyong tutuluyan. Sa ganitong paraan, tunay at pangmatagalan ang ginhawang naipagkakaloob sa ating mga benepisyaryo,” he added.
The Chief Executive in turn asked the beneficiaries, whom he referred to as “partners”, to serve as good examples to future beneficiaries.
“Pakiusap pong matindi: Kayong mga nauna, ipakita ninyo kung bakit tama ang ginagawa nating estratehiya sa ngayon. Nasa inyo po ang susi para mabigyan rin natin ng pagkakataon ang iba pa nating mga kababayan na pareho rin ang pangangailangan,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Madeline Suarez, thanked the President and the MMDA, saying, “Ngayon po, masasabi namin na panatag na kami. Tapos na po ang panahon ng aming pangamba tuwing sasapit po ang tag-ulan at bagyo. Tapos na po ang kabanata ng aming buhay ng paglusong sa baha.”
Also present during the program were Pasig Congressman Roman Romulo, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., and MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino. PND (ag)
|President Aquino inaugurates Rizal Technological University’s Senator Neptali Gonzales Academic Hall|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III on Thursday inaugurated the Senator Neptali Gonzales Academic Hall at the Rizal Technological University (RTU) in Mandaluyong City.
The 11-storey building, which was constructed at an estimated budget of P600 million, will cater to education and information technology students.
House of Representatives Majority Floor leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II, who pushed for the construction of the new building in 2010, joined the President in the ceremony, which was also attended by House Speaker Sonny Belmonte.
Looking at the new academic building, President Aquino recalled the groundbreaking ceremony he also attended in 2010.
“Mga Boss, sa Daang Matuwid, ang pakay natin: itama ang dapat itama; ayusin ang kayang ayusin at ang dapat ayusin. Kasabay po nito ang pamumuhunan sa mas maganda at mas maunlad na kinabukasan ng bawat Pilipino. Ito naman po ang diwa ng pagpapasinaya natin sa Senator Neptali A. Gonzales Academic Hall ng Rizal Technological University sa araw na ito. Tayo na nga po ang nag-groundbreak nito, at kitang-kita naman ninyo ang resulta ng ating pagtutulungan,” he said in his speech.
The President also thanked Rep. Gonzales and the residents of Mandaluyong City for their contribution to the construction of the new building that will benefit the next generation.
“Ito po ang magsisilbing bagong academic building para sa mga nag-aaral ng education, pati na ng Information Technology. Nagpapasalamat nga tayo, unang-una, sa inyong butihing Kinatawan na si Boyet Gonzales, na talaga naman pong tinutukan ang proyektong ito, at saktong-sakto ang inagurasyon natin sa nalalapit niyang kaarawan sa Sabado. Ang pinakaimportante: Ang building na ito, bunga ng pag-aambagan ng mga taga-Mandaluyong. Kaya naman, maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyo,” President Aquino further said.
“Kahanga-hanga po na nakapagpatayo tayo ng ganito kalaking gusali, lalo pa’t masikip na sa lungsod. Ang isa pang kahanga-hanga sa proyektong ito: Ang sabi sa atin ay makakasabay na daw sa ibang kilalang pamantasan sa larangan nang I.T. ang facilities ng RizalTech. Pero sa akin po, ang pinakatagumpay ng pasilidad na ito ay ang lahat ng makikinabang rito, dahil sila naman ang magbabahagi ng matutunan nila sa susunod na henerasyon pagdating ng panahon,” he added.
President Aquino also noted that the modern facilities of the new academic building will attract specialists, who will impart their skills and knowledge to the students.
“Itong bagong sentro ng edukasyon sa inyong lungsod, pupuntahan ng mga dalubhasa. Dahil mas moderno ang kagamitan para makapagturo, mas episyente naman nilang maipapabatid ang kanilang kaalaman sa mga mag-aaral. Ang mga tinuruan naman po, pagbalik sa kanilang komunidad, maibabahagi ang mga kanilang natutunan. Dahil dito, mapapabilis ang pagsasalin ng kaalaman sa mas marami nating kababayan. Ito po ang tinatawag nating multiplier effect, kung saan naipapasa at naipapamana sa mas marami ang benepisyong natanggap ng ilan,” he said.
Concluding his speech, President Aquino challenged the RTU students to use their knowledge to better serve their countrymen.
“Kaya nga po, sa mga kabataan at mag-aaral na pangunahing benepisyaryo ng bagong pasilidad na ito: May kasangkapan na kayo upang masagad ang pagkatuto. Ang hamon ko sa inyo: Gamitin ang pinag-aralan para makapaghatid ng higit na benepisyo at serbisyo sa inyong kapwa. Sa inyong pagtulong, asahan naman ninyong titindig sa mas mataas na lunsaran ang mga binigyang-lakas ninyo; at sa ganoong paraan, matitiyak ninyong maaabot nila ang mas matatayog na pangarap para sa ating bansa,” the President said. PND (jm)
|President Aquino to meet Thai Prime Minister Prayut on Friday|
| President Benigno S. Aquino III and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand are scheduled to meet in Malacañang Palace on Friday to discuss matters of interest to their countries.
Prime Minister Prayut arrives in Manila at 6 p.m. on Thursday to begin a two-day official visit with his wife, Madame Naraporn Chan-o-cha, an official media advisory released by the Palace said.
This is Prayut’s first visit to the Philippines since he assumed office in 2014.
Prayut will pay a courtesy call on President Aquino on Friday morning, to be followed by an expanded bilateral meeting. They will hold a joint press statement shortly thereafter.
President Aquino will also host a state luncheon in honor of the visiting head of state and his delegates.
An earlier statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Prayut’s visit aims to deepen the partnership between the Philippines and Thailand for mutual prosperity.
According to the DFA, Prime Minister Prayut and President Aquino will talk about agriculture, defense, education, law enforcement, security, trade and investments, technical cooperation, tourism, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) matters, among other issues.
“The two leaders will look into ways to work closely together towards mutual prosperity and contribute to further strengthen the ASEAN’s post-2015 vision,” the DFA said.
Thailand is the Philippines’ eighth largest trading partner in 2014, with total two-way trade amounting to US$5.83-billion, the DFA noted, adding that both countries enjoy excellent and cordial relations at the bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels. PND (hdc)